I went to the movies last weekend. This shouldn’t really be a big deal. I mean I’d hate to end up being one of those bloggers who has so little to say that they end up giving you a rundown of their weekly movie going activity.
Then again, from my point of view, it kind of is a big deal, mainly because I don’t actually get to go to the movies very often. I think this is only the second movie I’ve seen all year. So I’m hoping you’ll bear with me.
The movie I saw was Yesterday. You might know the one. It’s the story of a man who (and I don’t think I’m giving too many spoilers away here) wakes up after being hit by a bus to discover that he’s the only person in the world with any recollection of The Beatles. As far as everyone else is concerned, they never actually existed.
Imagine that. A world without Beatles’ songs. From my point of view, it’s inconceivable. While I’m not exactly of the vintage that indulged in Beatlemania, they’ve been a basic part of the fabric of my existence for as long as I can remember.
Of course, the central character (who happens to be a musician) does the obvious. He makes out that all of those great old Lennon/McCartney (and Harrison) songs are his, and goes out and becomes a big star.
The movie was fun. It got me thinking about a lot of things. Like whether popular music would have evolved into the form it became without the Beatles. For example, The Rolling Stones still existed. But would The Stones have become such a powerhouse without the influence of The Beatles (particularly their songwriting inspiration), or would they still be doing blues covers in London clubs?
In addition, there was the natural assumption that even today, The Beatles’ songs would be recognised as works of genius. But I couldn’t help but wonder. Given the current trends in popular music these days, I’m not sure if those songs (which, great as they are, hark from a different era) would have the same impact.
But, beyond any of these thoughts, there was one overriding impression I couldn’t avoid. What if this did actually happen. Only it wasn’t the genius of The Beatles that was wiped from the historical timeline. Instead, it was another collection of works of genius. It was the work of…dare I say it…me?
Maybe I’m the victim of a terrible trick by the universe. Maybe I was meant to be famous, and have all my stories published to great acclaim (and riches). Only, I now find myself stuck in an alternate reality where it never happened. How could such a travesty occur? How could I be played so cruelly by the forces of fate – denied the greatness that was surely meant to be mine. It’s all so unfair.
Then again, just like the main character in Yesterday, maybe there is one person who still remembers my greatness. And maybe they’re going to do the obvious thing, by stealing those stories and passing them off as their own.
I guess I better keep my wits about me – just in case.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as